Oklahoma recruiting: T Darrell Simpson talks basketball and recruiting

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Stay up to date with Oklahoma football recruiting with the latest news and notes and analysis in the daily edition of DieHards’ Wagon Wheels. In this edition, we catch up with 2018 signee 4-star tackle Darrell Simpson.

Darrell Simpson talks basketball and recruiting

JUSTIN, Texas — It’s been a little over a week since Oklahoma signee Darrell Simpson played his final basketball game for Northwest High School. The 6-foot-7, 336-pound senior helped the power the Texans to the Class 5A state title game and a 33-6 record.

For the first time in his life, Simpson is about to become a one-sport athlete. He sat down with DieHards.com to talk about his recruitment and what his basketball skills will bring to Oklahoma’s offensive line in the future.

DieHards: How hard was it to keep playing basketball and grow to the size that’s typical for a Oklahoma offensive lineman?
Simpson: It wasn’t that hard. I always played basketball and football. My dad [Darrell Simpson Sr.] never wanted me to play just one sport. He wanted to play several sports and learn how to work with each sport and control.

DieHards: How did basketball help you develop as a football player?
Simpson: It helped me develop my footwork and hands. At least that what I felt like.

DieHards: Now that it’s over, what’s the one bit of advice you would give anyone going through the recruiting process right now?
Simpson: Do your homework on the coaches. Don’t go in there thinking just because this coach is the first person you’ve met that he’s the best coach in the world. You need to ask other guys’ opinions. Always ask guys that went to that school or played for him what they thought. Just do your homework.

DieHards: Who did you seek out when it came to Oklahoma.
Simpson: I talked to my friend [Oklahoma redshirt freshman guard Tyrese McKinney]. I also talked to Robert Barnes [Oklahoma sophomore safety] a lot. I played with him on his dad’s team [former Oklahoma linebacker Reggie Barnes] when we were young. I just listened to them and did my own research.

DieHards: You committed in August before ever taking an official visit. Was there a reason behind that?
Simpson: It was on my birthday, Aug. 12.

DieHards: Did you plan to announce your commitment on that day all along?
Simpson: Yeah, I sat down with my parents and thought about it and everything.

DieHards: The 2018 class was the last that didn’t get to make spring official visits. Would you have taken them if you could have?
Simpson: Not really. I had a good visit when I took mine in the fall. I think it was when they played Iowa State. I think I had a good visit.

DieHards: Even though the Sooners suffered that stunning loss?
Simpson: It was still a good visit. You could tell they learned the lesson. You can’t go out there and not take someone seriously.

DieHards: There are guys in the 2019 class who want to take five official visits in the spring.
Simpson: I could see why. You don’t have to worry about the coaches being uptight because they’re not playing a game that day. It’s just the spring and they’re going against each other. You have more time to talk the coaches. You have more time to talk to [Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley] and go over to his house and hang out and there’s more time to talk to the coaches and hang out with the players.

DieHards: What school came in second?
Simpson: TCU was second and Ohio State was probably third. But TCU is definitely second.

DieHards: What could TCU have done to lure you away from Oklahoma?
Simpson: They were a good school, but at the last minute they changed up the coaching staff. The oline coach went to a tight end coach and new offensive line coach came in late. It was hard to get adjusted to that.

DieHards: What’s the most creative thing a school did to get your attention?
Simpson: The video on signing day was creative. It was great. Ohio State used to send pictures of me in the uniform and stuff.

DieHards: What’s the funniest thing a head coach said to during recruiting?
Simpson: The LSU coach [Ed Orgeron], his voice is just funny how it sounds. It sounded like he had something stuck in his throat the whole time. It was hard to understand anything he said.

DieHards: Which coach was the hardest to say no to?
Simpson: Coach P [Gary Patterson] from TCU.

DieHards: Because TCU had been in on you the longest?
Simpson: Because it’s so close and there was a strong bond with him.

DieHards: Was there a school that disappointed you in recruiting?
Simpson: I would say Michigan. My freshman year, I went to their camp when they came down here. I did well that camp and I got his [Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s number]. But after that, I never heard from him. The other one would be OSU [Oklahoma State]. After they let go of [former offensive line coach Greg Adkins], the new guy [Josh Henson] would only talk to me a little bit.

DieHards: So what was the allure of Michigan?
Simpson: I just wanted to see how it was. At the time, I liked Michigan. After he didn’t make any contact, I was like, OK.

4-star guard will visit Oklahoma

The Sooners lined another huge spring visit on Tuesday. Candan Wallace (Hun School, Princeton, N.J.) announced he will take an official to Oklahoma next month.

Wallace already holds 30 offers and is the No. 128 overall player and the No. 6 guard in the 2019 247Sports composite ranking. As of yet, the Sooners do not have an offensive lineman committed in the 2019 class.

Miss a previous edition of Wagon Wheels? Get caught up here.

The post Oklahoma recruiting: T Darrell Simpson talks basketball and recruiting appeared first on Diehards.

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